Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jabberwocky, and then some


A few decades ago I worked with Jack, a genius at file structures and coding. When he was conjuring solutions for our fledgling database he would stare into the air and see the structures as he devised them. At some point he became so good, even I could see them!

Jack the Genius was mesmerized by Jabberwocky, which he had committed entirely to memory and would mumble at odd times during his thinking sessions.

In case you don't know what Jabberwocky is, here is the definition:

jabberwocky |ˈjabərˌwäkē|
noun ( pl. -wockies)
invented or meaningless language; nonsense.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from the title of a nonsense poem in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass (1871).

So though the word moved into the English language, the power of the poem remains just as potent.

JABBERWOCKY
Lewis Carroll

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought –
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


So enamored were we all of this nonsense poem that I added another section to it, which I found the other day when I was going through some old files. (Most of my writings were lost, since I did a lot of writing in pre-computer era and entropy took the paper.)

JABBERWOCKY JubJub

Bright 'Twillig, and the slithy coles
Did lang and yunnle by the shore:
And sliet were the burrotoles,
when the Owlettes did floar.

"Beware the JubJub bird, my lad!
For though the Jabberwock you slew,
Serrated beak and Talons grad,
Await a brave boy such as you!"

He strapped his vorpal blade on back,
And bright chain and greaves he wore --
With bait inside a burlap sack,
He traveled to the scrathy shore.

As in the shoreward sea he splashed
the JubJub bird with wings arove
Through the misty air it flashed
and flabbered as it dove!

A razor beak, the sack did snatch,
the talons raked him sore.
Then the vorpal blade did catch -
Snicker-snack! The JubJub was no more.

Then healing wounds and severed wings
And feasts and dances grand.
While still the kingdom minstrel sings
the fight throughout the land.

Bright 'Twillig, and the slithy coles
Did lang and yunnle by the shore:
And sliet were the burrotoles,
when the Owlettes did floar.

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